Skip to comments.Why 'Avatar' is actually the 26th biggest movie
Posted on 01/26/2010 9:23:59 PM PST by Reagan Man
Boxoffice is arguably more straightforward to report than TV ratings. You have this weekly Top 10 list of returns, you compare each movie to the other movies. TV ratings are a murky swamp where one network's hit is another network's flop and context is not just a factor, but often the entire story.
Yet one respect in which boxoffice reporting is pretty odd -- emphasizing ticket grosses yet rarely mentioning ticket sales. That would be like always reporting how many ad dollars sold off "Lost" and not mentioning the number of viewers that actually watched the show. With everybody reporting how "Avatar" is The Biggest Movie of All Time based on grosses ($1.859 billion and counting), it's important to remember how rising ticket prices skew the returns.
Here's the Top 20 movies of all time ... by number of tickets sold:
1 "Gone With the Wind" (1939) 202,044,600
2 "Star Wars" (1977) 178,119,600
3 "The Sound of Music" (1965) 142,415,400
4 "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) 141,854,300
5 "The Ten Commandments" (1956) 131,000,000
6 "Titanic" (1997) 128,345,900
7 "Jaws" (1975) 128,078,800
8 "Doctor Zhivago" (1965) 124,135,500
9 "The Exorcist" (1973) 110,568,700
10 "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) 109,000,000
11 "101 Dalmatians" (1961) 99,917,300
12 "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) 98,180,600
13 "Ben-Hur" (1959) 98,000,000
14 "Return of the Jedi" (1983) 94,059,400
15 "The Sting" (1973) 89,142,900
16 "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) 88,141,900
17 "Jurassic Park" (1993) 86,205,800
18 "The Graduate" (1967) 85,571,400
19 "Star Wars: Episode I" (1999) 84,825,800
20 "Fantasia" (1941) 83,043,500
"Avatar," despite topping the worldwide gross list, by and by, is only No. 26 on the ticket sales list with 76,421,000 sold ... at least, so far...
It is a DUMB movie.
Spectacular 3D but a very pedestrian movie.
And Avatar’s grosses are further raised by inflated iMAX prices.
Ah, thanks for clearing that up.
I don’t know about anyone else, but if I see any other Hollywood productions promoting that green crap, I’ll hurl.
It is actually a very enjoyable film. I may see it twice in fact.
OK, it does make the military and corporations into the bad guys. In the theater I was in, the evil military general says something like: The natives are massing. We have to do a preemptive strike with some shock and awe because we have to fight terror with terror. After these anti-American lines, some liberal puke sitting in the audience called out sarcastically: “GO USA!”
So, you do have to endure that. But, everything else is great. The effects are wonderful, not distracting, but fit well to the story. The story is epic, so of course it is simple.
It is the same story used in Old West films and novels: a white guy falls for an Indian princes and comes to adapt their ways and defend the tribe against exploitation. Once you have that plot, making the mining corporation the bad guys seems right.
It was awesome. Not exactly great literature, but rich and gripping.
Just come to grips with the fact that the bad guys were, in fact, bad guys, and the primitives were coping with the planetary brain in the only way they knew how.
I wouldn't say so. The one thing that was great was the execution, the production. So you bought it ... I bought it. Whatever it was, it looked great.
Interesting numbers. One additional thing one might do is divide by the U.S. population at the time just to calibrate the totals for population growth. GWTW’s 202 million in ticket sales looks even more impressive given the U.S. population totaled only 131 million in 1939. In contrast, with our population now over 300 million, Avatar’s ticket sales of 76 million looks even less impressive.
Even if the ticket sales are worldwide figures, my guess is that the U.S. accounts for the lion’s share of these, so it’s reasonable to use the U.S. population as a way of standardizing the figures to account for population growth.
How did it make 1.8 billion dollars if it only sold 77 million tickets. That’s more than $20 a ticket.
I just saw the movie. It was a great visual movie. Story was so-so, or as my daughter says “Ferngully with tall smurfs”.
There were also plot points stolen from star trek, pohohantas, and Orson Scott Card’s Enders series (specifically the Children of the Mind portion) — complete with the slightly-different named Aiuas living in trees after they die.
And you had Eragon and the dragon-bonding.
Cameron wasn’t much for originality. But he loves senseless killing. And vengeance.
‘I Believe in Eco-Terrorism’:Does James Cameron Live In a Malibu Mansion? by Pam Meister
Avatar’s far worse than simply a pedestrian film. It’s a reflection of Cameron’s ideology/activist propaganda. Here’s a revealing quote:
Just when you think certain celebrities couldnt get any more obnoxious, we are treated to an interview with last nights Golden Globe winner, James Im the King of the World Cameron in Entertainment Weekly. On page 35 of the latest edition of the print version, Cameron responds to the following criticism of his latest film Avatar:
EW: Avatar is the perfect eco-terrorism recruiting tool.
JC: Good, good. I like that one. I consider that a positive review. I believe in ecoterrorism.
Did you catch that, FReepers? “I believe in ecoterrorism.”
Avatar is just another ultra-liberal propaganda peddling film dressed up in a eye catching Versace, bling and all.
Cameron can take his hypocritical eco-terrorist Avatar and go pound sand.
Yeah, I enjoyed Avatar on the big screen as well. ;-)
Read post #10
I thought Gibson’s Passion of the Christ outsold Titanic, for ticket numbers.
“But, everything else is great.
I wouldn’t say so”
So, you liked it or not?
Hilarious. It’s a regurgitation of the same ‘ol liberal ideology, and the sheeple swallow this pile by the bucket loads.
Pocahontas: Dances with Smurfs.
I won’t bother seeing it. Unless it’s a pirate copy.
Reminds of the pantomime epic that you act out with a folded piece of paper serving in sequence as a moustache, a hair bow, a bow tie, and a moustache.
“You pay the mortgage!”
“I can’t pay the mortgage!”
“I’ll pay the mortgage!”
LOL, that was good, I feel like I was actually there.
I forgot who posted it originally
Ultimately, no. But my attitude with movies is 'you take what you get'. I just have to admit that it did sweep me along in places. For example the "pterodactyl busting" scene really drew me in, what with the 3-D and all. I'll take it.
How many of those top 20 films were rated R? Two?
Don’t you remember: “Good writers borrow, great writers steal!”
Virgil stole from Homer.
Shakespeare stole from medieval novelists.
Tolkien stole from the Arthurian stories.
There are only so many dramatic themes out there and if you can re-tell an old myth well, more power to you.
I know The Exorcist is rated R. . .
Jaws was rated PG but should have been R—a whole man gets completely eaten onscreen with lots of gushing blood—gushing blood is what separates R from PG-13 and PG; of course there was no PG-13 in Jaws’ era.
If you want to put it that way, everything in Avatar was borrowed. Cameron made nothing his own.
There wasn’t nearly enough napalm employed for my taste...
Great Post. It really puts things into perspective. Thanks!
Avatar is a perfect eco-terrorism movie. The good blue people of the planet, who supposedly only kill when they need to eat, and always ask for forgiveness when they do...
Turn into murderers, brazenly killing and loving it.
All it took was a single leader, an outsider at that, to convince them that killing was the right thing to do.
Although to be fair, they were going to kill the blue outsider anyway, just for showing up at their village. So they already really did have the killer instinct.
The only reason they weren’t killers already was that they had a monotheistic, non-diverse culture. They were all of the same beliefs, the same race, the same kind.
And there were so few of them that there was no possible reason to go to war with the others of their species on their large planet.
And yet as soon as one outsider showed up, they were ready to kill him, and he was easily able to convince them to abandon their “live-and-let-live” ways, and instead launch a pre-emptive counter-strike against the “bad humans” (who were clearly bad, not our military...
but an evil government who thought that the government (in this case, the galaxial government) had every right to take whatever property they wanted from the people who owned it, without compensation if necessary.
No doubt, if things had worked out differently, the galaxial government would be forcing them to attend public schools and providing universal health care.
Cameron THINKS he told the story of an idealistic world at one with nature. But, as that story grounds itself in reality, he told the story of why capitalism is better than socialism, why it is a fairy tale to believe in non-violence, or to try to work out a deal with those who want to kill us.
As well as showing the futility of a lack of belief in a diety (the invaders brought no religion with them, there were no priests, no visible church, just governmental power gone mad).
Not really. This thread specifically focuses on comparing the most popular films of all time as it relates to the number of actual tickets sold for each movie release. A highly intriguing factor and my ONLY reason for posting it. The article clearly indicates that films made more then 25 years ago are still the most popular, with 17 of the top 20 films listed being released between 1937 and 1983. The thread you linked to, had to do with issues based on conservative opinion. Specifically in your reply, what was the highest grossing film of all time based on "Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation*". Interesting data for sure, but something I have been well aware of for years. The information of overall ticket sales data I had never seen before and thought others would find it intriguing too.
With everybody reporting how "Avatar" is The Biggest Movie of All Time based on grosses ($1.859 billion and counting), it's important to remember how rising ticket prices skew the returns.
As you noted, I didn't link to a thread. I linked to a specific reply in a thread which directly related to the article, that being, specifically - Ticket Price Inflation*.
There is a difference.
You can hardly dictate what this thread is about when several issues are discussed in the originating article and if that was your intent then you should've made some comment to direct the conversation in that direction. You did not do so.
The information of overall ticket sales data I had never seen before and thought others would find it intriguing too.
Interesting data, for sure, but something I have been well aware of for years.
>>>>>You can hardly dictate what this thread is about...you should've made some comment to direct the conversation in that direction. You did not do so.
LOL I'm not dictating anything and I'm not responsible where posters may take the thread. Get real. You're being petty.
I'm not dictating anything...
Yet you've just done that very thing by dictating that this thread focus is only to be on ticket sales. The simple fact that you're berating me for "going off topic" is evidence enough.
...and I'm not responsible where posters may take the thread.
So why the rub at what I posted? Aren't the article's statements...
emphasizing ticket grosses yet rarely mentioning ticket sales.
Snip...based on grosses...it's important to remember how rising ticket prices skew the returns (thus my "adjusted for inflation" addition)
...directly related to my comment and to the reply I linked to?
I don't need to, I already am.
You're being petty.
You call me petty when you're trying to tell me what I can and can't comment on, especially when what I mentioned pertains to something within the body of the article and is an integral component of the story?
What is your real problem?
You're wrong. I said the focus of the "article thread", meaning the article as written by Hibberd, is centered on ticket sales, not gross receipts plus inflation. Again, I don't control what anyone posts on FR. That includes YOU!
>>>>>The simple fact that you're berating me for "going off topic" is evidence enough.
Berating you? Come on. Have you always been this thin skinned?
>>>>>You call me petty when you're trying to tell me what I can and can't comment on
Wrong again. I'm calling you petty for making a mountain out of a molehill ..... blowing a small incident into a multiple reply argument and wasting my time on minor subject matter too boot. I posted this thread out of personal interest, for informational purposes and to break up the all the political head-banging in recent weeks.
>>>>>What is your real problem?
Dealing with fools like you.
...meaning the article as written by Hibberd, is centered on ticket sales, not gross receipts plus inflation.
You're repeatedly stated that you're only interested in what the thread focuses on. You made no previous mention of focusing on the article, only on the thread.
Berating you? Come on. Have you always been this thin skinned?
Come on! Pure hyperbole. You know me better than that!
I'm calling you petty for making a mountain out of a molehill ..... blowing a small incident into a multiple reply argument and wasting my time on minor subject matter too (sic) boot.
A pot calling the kettle black. You could've simply ignored me. You do remember "IGNORE", don't you? It seems you chose to escalate this, not me.
Dealing with fools like you.
I'm a petty fool.
Got ya. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
Not so. If my first post to you at #31 wasn't clear, then my reply to you at #33 should have been:
"This article thread focuses on ticket sales ONLY!"
I even stated that meant the article as written by Hibberd! Wake up, pal. Either you need new glasses or you need a refresher in reading comprehension. Either way, you're wrong.
Look, I don't mind heated debates, but instead of realizing and acknowledging your mistake, you've chosen to be highly argumentative. Why? I don't know.
>>>>>You could've simply ignored me.
Next time, I just may do that. LOL
Perhaps you meant to say..."This article
thread focuses on ticket sales ONLY!"
And even that seems ridiculous as that isn't what the article is saying.
Once again, the article itself is about the propensity to do a specific thing, namely, to focus on ticket grosses to determine how great a movie is, despite how inaccurate a means that is due to inflationary impact.
I even stated that meant the article as written by Hibberd!
So what? You don't even seem to understand what Hibberd is saying.
Next time, I just may do that.
I doubt it. You seem to be a glutton for punishment.
And you're an innocent bystander? LOL I'm more a glutton for handing out punishment. While you seem to be lost in covering your bloviating backside.
"This article thread focuses on ticket sales ONLY!"
>>>>>Despite the article itself being about more than ticket sales.
So? While the article itself focuses on ticket sales, it does not mean its entirely about ticket sales.
>>>>>... the article itself is about the propensity to do a specific thing, namely, to focus on ticket grosses to determine how great a movie is, despite how inaccurate a means that is due to inflationary impact.
The article itself does not go that far. It does not mention factors related to inflation. But your point is well taken. Nonetheless, the lead in paragraphs use ancillary rhetoric as a set up to drive the main point. The main point being, how actual current ticket sales for Avatar compare to the actual ticket sales of the greatest films of all time. By looking at ticket sales and not ticket grosses, you get a more factual account of a films true popularity with the public. Hibberd wants everyone to realize that Avatar, while popular today, is not as popular when a more trustworthy method is employed in considering its place in movie history.
While the article itself focuses on ticket sales, it does not mean its entirely about ticket sales.
And yet you keep proclaiming..."This article thread focuses on ticket sales ONLY!"...which means it's about ticket sales.
You can't have it both ways.
The article itself does not go that far.
The hell it doesn't!
It does not mention factors related to inflation. But your point is well taken.
So prices increased because of The Price Fairy?
The main point being...
Which is exactly what I said in my previous reply, just in different words. And you don't even see it. Simply amazing!
The Price Fairy? I'd call that childish, juvenile banter.
>>>>>You can't have it both ways.
Not trying to. To focus, is to emphasize. To emphasize ticket sales, does not mean its entirely about ticket sales. You seem to have a problem with basic commonsense.
The article itself does not go that far.
>>>>>The hell it doesn't!
Okay then. Exactly where does it mention inflation?
>>>>>Which is exactly what I said in my previous reply, just in different words. And you don't even see it. Simply amazing!
WTF does all that mean? LOL
To emphasize ticket sales, does not mean its entirely about ticket sales.
Then why did you keep emphasizing that "This article thread focuses on ticket sales ONLY!"
You're wanting it both ways.
You seem to have a problem with basic commonsense.
How about that! We share something in common.
Exactly where does it mention inflation?
Hmmmm...how about when he talks about rising ticket prices.
Once again...how did ticket prices increase?
WTF does all that mean?
What a shame. You spell it out for someone and they still don't get it.
>>>>>You spell it out for someone and they still don't get it.
My thoughts exactly. You're pathetic.
You've changed direction at least three times. You're going in circles more and more, and you've got me following you. ENOUGH!
Not quite everything. He took the myth we've heard before and put it into a sci-fi world. What other story is about an idyllic planet being infiltrated by technically advanced humans using avatars?
Besides the original scene for the familiar myth, he had innovated film techniques and the whole 3 D stuff to make it aesthetically appealing.
I think another reason that I liked the film is that his rebirth as an avatar at the end reminds me of the resurrection (something I personally belive in).